Yesterday's overcast skies were not the optimum conditions for documenting the launch of Olafur Eliasson's NYC Waterfalls; photographs from the first day tended to deemphasize the falls amid the uniformly gray background. But that's part of what's compelling about the work; it's never the same waterfall twice, being constantly affected by the light, air and your point of view. And as we suggested yesterday, while the project may seem underwhelming when you stare straight at it expecting 'capital-W' Waterfalls, they're much more beguiling when you catch them from a distance, out of the corner of your eye. Spotted from an adjacent bridge or a side street near the water, the fluctuating installation works as a sort of unpredictable conversation between the city's skyline and the water that surrounds it.
Roberta Smith has a review in today's Times; she invokes Walt Whitman and calls the waterfalls "relatively unobtrusive and brilliantly insidious. They go against the grain of the often spectacular nature of quite a bit of the best-known public art, including some made by Mr. Eliasson himself." Below are some stunning shots from the installation taken last night, which make a pretty convincing argument for the project when viewed up close, as well.